After visiting Olympic National Park, the Hoh Rainforest, the Washington Coast, the Oregon Coast and a few lighthouses we headed inland on our trip to do some wine tasting in the Willamette Valley region. Oregon is well known for great Pinot Noirs but there are also some other great varietals. We focused most of our tasting in the Dundee Hills area because there were a lot of wineries close together which made it easy to get from one to another.
The first winery that we stopped at was Domaine Serene. For some reason I didn’t bother to take any pictures here, but wish I would have. The winery and tasting room were beautiful. Even though it was a larger winery it was unpretentious and we felt very welcome. There was only one other couple there when we visited so we got a lot of personal attention. We even had the opportunity to taste a few of their higher-end bottles of Pinot Noir. We took home a bottle of the Rockblock SoNo Syrah.
The next winery that we stopped at – White Rose – was just down the road. The tasting room here was a completely different experience. It was smaller and windowless, but still really enjoyable. I wish I would have taken a few pictures of the building. We tasted a few great wines and got a bottle of the 2009 White Rose Estate Pinot Noir to take home. The view outside was really the best part though. It was at the top of the hill and there was a great view of the valley. After our wine tasting we sat outside and had a picnic lunch.
The next winery that we visited – Sokol Blosser – was probably our favorite experience. They were crowded, but took great care of us. We weren’t in a rush so we got a tray of local cheeses to enjoy while we tasted. The Sokol Blosser brand is a lot of fun and the wines are wonderful too. I got a bottle of 2009 Pinot Noir and 2011 Rose of Pinot Noir to take back to Ohio. I’ve been dying to try the Evolution White Sparkling that they recently released but haven’t found it locally yet.
The final tasting stop that we made was at Argyle. They are known for their sparkling wines which meant that I had to check them out. The tasting room was more urban than the others that we visited so unfortunately it didn’t have great views. It was also getting close to the end of the day and it was crowded so we didn’t have the relaxed tasting experience that we had at the other wineries. We did have some tasty wines though and got a bottle of the 2008 Argyle Brut and 2010 Minus Five ice wine of which only 125 cases were produced.
After wine tasting we headed to Newberg, OR where we stayed for the night before heading into Portland the next day.